May 3, 2022 - News

Grapevine-Colleyville school board considers banning critical race theory

Illustration of a stack of books with barbed wire wrapped around them.
Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Grapevine-Colleyville district leaders join a growing list of North Texas school boards considering changing the curriculum to prohibit teaching critical race theory and banning books about diversity and sexuality on campus.

Why it matters: Critical race theory has become a rallying cry for Republicans across the state who say parents should have more control over what their children learn in school.

  • The college-level academic theory links racial discrimination to the founding of the U.S. and its legal system. The term has become a catchall for any anti-racism and Civil Rights teachings.

Driving the news: The Grapevine-Colleyville school board last week discussed a proposed policy that requires teachers to address controversial issues "objectively" and "free from political bias."

  • The policy would also prohibit the teaching of critical race theory, which the district says includes saying "meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist."

Details: The policy was put forward by two school board members — Casey Ford and Shannon Braun — who were elected since the protests after George Floyd's murder, which prompted nationwide discussions on systemic racism.

  • Teachers cannot require or give students extra credit for participation in political activism or social policy lobbying work if the policy is approved.
  • And, teachers or administrators would be prohibited from teaching "gender fluidity" or give any student books or other materials that says gender is a social construct or is based on a person's feelings.

Flashback: The school board voted to pay a former high school principal through August 2023 to agree to quit after he was accused of advocating for critical race theory to be taught.

What they're saying: Ford said he and Braun have heard from parents about "having age-appropriate material for our children."

  • "We feel this will help protect our students, teachers and administration in the community and set guidelines while working together within the legal parameters that are out there," Ford said during the meeting, per WFAA.

What's next: Early voting ends Tuesday and Election Day is Saturday for two school board seats, which could shape future discussions on the issue.

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